MnDOT set to hold open house on Highway 23 South Gap project

The below article was written by Shelby Lindrud of the West Central Tribune.

"NEW LONDON -- The public is invited to a Minnesota Department of Transportation open house on the Highway 23 South Gap expansion project.

The in-person event will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 2 at Peace Lutheran Church in New London. While there is no formal presentation planned, staff from MnDOT and the contractor will be on hand to aswer any questions about the project the public may have. A virtual open house will also be available on the MnDOT South Gap website.

The project will see a seven mile stretch of Highway 23 from New London to Paynesville transformed from two lanes to four.

Construction of the south gap will require traffic to be detoured, wich is expected to go into effect around May 1 through Nov. 1. The detour will use Kandiyohi County Road 2 and Highway 55, routing traffic from Hawick to Paynesville. Those who work, live or are visiting homes or businesses along Highway 23 will have access. It will be a busy construction zone and drivers should watch for construction signs, lane closures, gravel surfaces, flaggers, road crews and heavy equipment.

Mathiowetz Construction is the apparent low bidder to be the contractor for the project, with a cost of $34.5 million.

The south gap is part of the larger Highway 23 Gaps expansion project. Construction of the north gap, between Paynesville to Richmond, started last year and will be completed by this fall. The entire project will see approximately 16 miles of two lane highway expanded to four lanes, creating an entirely four lane corridor of travel between Willmar and Interstate 94 and St. Cloud.

The total project will cost around $101 million and is receiving funding through the Corridors of Commerce program."

South Gap Virtual Open House Information from MnDOT

As mentioned in the above West Central Tribune article, in addition to the in-person South Gap open house, MnDOT is also providing the ability to have a virtual open house. Access the virtual open house here on the MnDOT website.

About the Highway 23 Expansion Projects

The Highway 23 Coalition is working diligently with partners across the state to achieve a 4 lane Highway 23 corridor from Duluth to Sioux Falls, SD. Momentum is increasing as work is occuring on this goal. Current MnDOT projects contributing to this success include the Highway 23 South Gap Project as well as the Highway 23 North Gap Project.

According to MnDOT, "The South Gap project expands 7 miles of Highway 23 to four lanes, from New London to Paynesville. Safety will be enhanced at intersections along the corridor and a pedestrian underpass will be constructed near Hawick. Tree clearing will take place in March with construction beginning April 23. The two-year project will conclude in 2024.

The South Gap project is part of the three-year Highway 23 Gaps expansion project which received funding through the Corridors of Commerce program in May 2018. In addition to the South Gap, the North Gap expansion of Highway 23 to four lanes from Paynesville to Richmond is scheduled for completion this year. When the North Gap and South Gap sections are both complete, Highway 23 travelers will be able to experience continuous four-lane travel from Willmar to Foley."

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